July 30, 2014

Elyria
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High school baseball: Elyria shrugs off delay, wet conditions to roll over Lorain

LORAIN — Ed Piazza wasn’t sure he wanted his Elyria baseball team to take the field Sunday night at The Pipe Yard due to the sloppy conditions.

But in the end, he’s OK the game was played.

.

The Pioneers took advantage of six Lorain errors, nine walks and seven wild pitches to win 13-7 over their longtime rivals and improve to 6-7 on the year.

“I guess,” Piazza said when asked if he was glad the show went on. “I really didn’t want to play with the water out there. I was worried about them hurting themselves.”

Lorain had won six of its last seven games and sported a 10-4 record when the teams finally got started after a 90-minute delay to get the field in playable condition.

Elyria jumped on the Titans early, scoring a single run in the first inning and adding five in the second. Jacob Csizmadia homered to lead off the second inning and Tony Pierce ripped a two-run triple to left to key the rally, but Lorain bounced right back with five runs in the bottom of the inning.

“I was proud of the kids, the way they came back after being down six,” Lorain coach Brad Ternes said. “We have a history with Elyria having some wild games. We tried to keep the kids in it.”

Ryan Osko and Thomas Holloway did their best to help Lorain’s comeback. Osko drove in three runs with a double to left in the second inning. Holloway singled in two in the fourth.

It could have been worse for the Pioneers had it not been for the defensive work of sophomore Brandon Koziura in center field. Koziura made a fine running catch to prevent further damage in the second inning and literally made a big splash in the fourth inning to put a stop to another Lorain rally.

“It was cold,” Koziura said of the splash he made on a diving catch of Nic Billingsley’s humpback liner in the fourth inning with the bases loaded and one out. “Most of the fly balls I had to go after were in right- or left-center and it wasn’t too wet. The time I got really wet was when I had to dive for the ball right there in the big puddle.”

Elyria turned it into an inning-ending double play when it was ruled Andrew Morales left third base too early. From there, sophomore Zach Minney slammed the door to earn his first win with 3⅓ innings of solid relief work.

“When we saw he was hitting his spots in the bullpen, we knew he’d be fine,” Piazza said of Minney. “Steve (starter Steve Poskocil) was getting a little frustrated. He thought he was getting squeezed a little bit. You can’t let that bother you. You have to make that adjustment.”

There’s never been any question of Koziura’s defensive prowess. He’s made plays in the outfield all year but also came through with two big hits, driving in two runs in the fourth inning when the game was still in doubt.

“I’m just trying to stay calm and not be too nervous,” he said. “Whenever I’m nervous, I don’t do so good. It felt good to finally show what I can do at the plate.”

Contact Tim Gebhardt at 329-7135 or at timothygeb@msn.com.